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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 17, 2019 01:16 PM
From: Senator Judy Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Strangulation Legislation
 
I plan to introduce legislation that was introduced last session by Representative Becky Corbin as House Bill 2437 which would ensure that a strangulation conviction would be considered in sentencing for subsequent crimes and in custody proceedings.

In 2016, the General Assembly approved a law (Act 111) sponsored by Representative Corbin which created a criminal offense of strangulation. My legislation would ensure that this new offense is as fully incorporated into our body of laws as other similarly violent and threatening offenses.

This follow-up legislation is necessary to ensure that not only will “strangulation” be on the books as a primary offense, but that a prior strangulation conviction will also be recognized and considered upon the occurrence of subsequent related events and judicial procedures. This is perhaps nowhere more critical than in domestic violence situations. Various credible studies have revealed the following chilling statistics:

•Ten percent of violent deaths in the United States can be attributed to strangulation.
•Forty-seven percent of female domestic violence victims report being choked.
•Nearly half of all domestic violence homicide victims had previously experienced at
least one episode of attempted strangulation.

Specifically, the bill will amend section 9714 of the Judicial Code, sections 5329 and 6711 of the Domestic Relations Code, and sections 5702 and 2709.1 of the Crimes Code by adding the offense to a list of applicable “crimes of violence.”

During the 2017-18 legislative session, HB 2437 was approved by the House of Representatives.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.



Introduced as SB275